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RNC Robocalling SD Dems to Tie Weiland to Obama and Reid?

A friend of the blog calls to express her annoyance and puzzlement at being pestered by the Republican National Committee at home today. My correspondent reports receiving a 35-second robocall this morning from some outfit with the words American, research, and survey in its name, although the robocall appeared to be doing neither of the latter. The call instead maligned President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and urged my correspondent to weaken those two leaders by not sending Rick Weiland to the Senate. The call did not mention Mike Rounds's name. It concluded by saying it was paid for by the RNC.

My correspondent expressed puzzlement for three reasons:

  1. It's July. One might expect calls like this to roll out right before people go to the polls.
  2. My correspondent is a known Democrat. My correspondent reports that one other strong Democrat in her black book received the same RNC robocall. What political consultant thinks throwing Obama and Reid and Democrats is the most effective way to get them not to vote for Democrats? Is the RNC worried that Elizabeth Warren is going to inspire South Dakota Democrats to stop apologizing and work even harder for her friend Rick Weiland?
  3. It's South Dakota. Nobody in the national media has declared South Dakota's Senate race competitive. What evidence would the RNC be looking at to motivate them to spend money on the South Dakota Senate race?

I invite your interpretations of this minor RNC engagement in the Rounds–Weiland race. And if you get such a call, I welcome your transcript thereof!


  1. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.22

    It sounds to me like the national GOP thinks this is more a critical race for the senate than it otherwise thought.

    Have they done some internal polling that suggests Mike Rounds is actually vulnerable?

  2. Jerry 2014.07.22

    Man, I get the Huckabeen that calls and tells me that the left if Godless and that he needs moolah to defend my sanctimony. Then I get Rick Sanitarium calling as well. This is how they get the poor old people to pony up their meager savings. These religious swindlers could care less who is running for office as long as their cash box is jingling, that is all that matters.

  3. Bill Fleming 2014.07.22

    Cory, perhaps they are awash in cash and don't know what else to do with it.

  4. SDTeacher 2014.07.22

    Perhaps post-Cantor, the GOP has decided to take nothing for granted.

  5. 96 Tears 2014.07.22

    The GOP Smear Machine has started up to defend Rounds' mile wide, inch deep support base which has been softened up by Mike Rounds Fatigue. DWC put up a personal smear on Weiland yesterday, so it's clear they are all connected to shoot down the Democrats' best candidate before Labor Day.

  6. Bill Fleming 2014.07.22

    "Can Republicans afford to sprinkle money on an easy win when they have bigger races where they are behind?"

    Short answer? Yes.

  7. Rocky Racoon 2014.07.22

    If anyone connected here gets this call, pay close attention to the organization name. I'd like it if someone could figure out who they are.

  8. MJL 2014.07.22


    I am beginning to think the same way. First AfP is coming to South Dakota, Mike Rounds didn't do quiet as well as he had hoped in the primary, and now Robocalling by the RNC?

    The only other option is that Mike Rounds will raise his 9 million by having outside groups do all the spending.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2014.07.22

    Another possibility is that this is a preemptive strike as the RNC learns more about Rounds' lack of leadership as governor and the scandals that have followed him.

    It also keeps him from personally campaigning.

  10. Rorschach 2014.07.22

    Robocalls are dirt cheap. If they can spend $1,000 and start implanting doubt in the Dem base then why not? Dems should be doing the same thing the other way around - sending robocalls highlighting statements made by GOP warmongers and asking people if they want to go to war with Russia, and Syria, and North Korea, and Egypt, and Libya, and Iran ... Does the GOP want WWIII?

  11. lesliengland 2014.07.22

    as mentioned here and in the living wage thread, kochs are officed in sx. falls now, anti-minimum wage, it is believed. AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY, un huh?? I haven't looked yet at kochs' role in citizens united.

  12. 96 Tears 2014.07.22

    Memo to Democrats: You're in a gunfight. Don't bring a knife to a gunfight.

    Loudly. Angrily. Repeatedly so nobody can say they didn't hear it. Publicize the Rounds sleazy record with the state government gag law, the bloated spending and deficits, family and pals filling their pockets with state jobs and contracts, Benda's very suspicious gunshot death and the AG's very suspicious 30-day delay on submitting his report, privatizing a state agency so it could spend public money out of view and transparency, Dick Benda's payoff, Joop Bollen's disappearance of EB-5 records, the waste of millions on the Aberdeen beef plant and megadairies, and Mike Rounds' role in all of this sleaze.

    This is not old news. Nobody had a clue how sleazy the Rounds organization was until last fall, and the reporting of facts and the parade of unanswered questions came out in drips and drabs in the last several months. If you want to win this Senate seat you'll have to claw it out of the hands of Rounds' power circle and his new pals like the Koch brothers. The instate press has already shown it lacks the spine to keep the Rounds sleaze machine front-and-center. Maybe the national press will pick it up, but they won't if all they hear in South Dakota is crickets.

  13. Chris S. 2014.07.22

    It sounds to me like (a) an internal poll has this race closer than people thought, and more importantly (b) Rounds has money to burn, and is trying to poison the well of Weiland voters early.

    However, the robocall strategy is both clumsy and ill-conceived. I don't understand how the calls, as reported, are supposed to deter staunch Democrats from voting for Weiland. All I can figure out is that it's typical projection by the Republican strategists, in which they assume everybody acts the way they (and their voters) do. On their side, the staunchest voters are the Teabaggers who always want their candidates to be as extreme as possible. Presumably this is why they think tying Weiland to centrists like Reid and Obama is going to provoke a Teabagger-esque fury among the staunch Democratic voters, who will — I dunno, write in Eugene V. Debs or someone instead of voting for Weiland?

  14. Deb Geelsdottir 2014.07.22

    Jerry, the 'modifications' you create for politicians' names are fun to read. Keep it up!

  15. Douglas Wiken 2014.07.23

    Rounds closed a state library building and turned it into another haven for redundant bureaucrats and family---too often the same thing.

  16. jerry 2014.07.23

    Hello Stan, Why do Kristi NOem and Rick Weiland say click? Is that a code kind of dog whistle that only you can understand? I remain curious, Jerry here in the wasteland of my own making.

  17. lesliengland 2014.07.25

    Friday, Jul 25, 2014 05:44 AM MDT SALON
    Koch brothers’ new racial gambit: What’s really behind a quiet battle with AFSCME

    As a key public sector union cuts ties with United Negro College Fund over Koch funding, the right strikes back Expressing gratitude for UNCF’s support, Malveaux nonetheless questioned the “strings” attached to the Kochs’ gift: $18.5 million of $25 million is to create a “Koch Scholars” program, for “exemplary students” who want to study “how entrepreneurship, economics, and innovation contribute to well-being for individuals, communities, and society.” Koch organizations get two of five seats on that scholarship selection committee.

    Lomax noted that $4 million of the grant is unrestricted support to HBCUs, and he invited Malveaux to come speak to the Koch Scholars. She replied: “I’d rather be on the selection committee,” and went on: “They’re using it to say ‘we support black people’ when the truth is that they don’t, they fund voter suppression.”

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